SVCC launches new project “Critical Environment Lab”



SVCC launches new project “Critical Environment Lab”

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 12:34 AM

Thanks to a donation from Microsoft, Southside Virginia Community College has a new training lab. SVCC announced this week that the Critical Environment Lab has been opened to equip students with the skills needed to survive in what is considered a “critical environment.” In other words, jobs that are “critical” to the community, such as electrical, mechanical, HVAC, and other industrial systems.

It’s part of Microsoft’s Datacenter Academy program. This new training initiative is powered by partnerships with universities and a generous donation from Microsoft. As the first critical environment lab space, this will serve as a pilot project and will soon be replicated at other Microsoft locations.

The first Microsoft Datacenter Academy program launched in Virginia in 2018 and has grown to 25 programs worldwide. said Gary McLoughlin, Global Program Manager at Microsoft. “We are proud to return to Boydton, Virginia and take the next step in supporting our employees with the development of the Academy’s Critical Environment Lab.”

To fully support the lab and facilitate a hands-on approach to training, Microsoft donated obsolete equipment. The Microsoft team worked with Southside Virginia Community College to align curriculum, ensure certification adoption, and provide graduates with job-ready skills.

“We are very fortunate to be part of a community college with such a vibrant future,” said SVCC President Dr. Quentin R. Johnson. “The partnership between SVCC and Microsoft has impacted the lives of our students since the opening of Data Center Academy, and that impact continues with our new Critical Environments Lab, where students can prepare for new and exciting career opportunities. “Yes,” Dr. Johnson added.

SVCC’s goal is to develop local talent and provide opportunities for individuals seeking employment in industries with significant environmental demands. Microsoft’s commitment to a growth mindset and continuous learning aligns seamlessly with this mission.

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